We should never give up.
We should never give up because no matter what the shadows show us, no matter what those dark whispers say, there is always something more.
We should never give up because there is always magic.
But do not expect it. Do not wait for it.
And NEVER attempt to conjure it.
Sleight of Hand
All of us struggle. ALL. OF. US.
You can admit it. You can deny it. But there’s no shaking it.
There’s only faking it – *wink wink* – and not even because we want to. Mostly because we feel compelled to.
Many people long for adulthood. They believe that in that realm of responsibility and accountability answers are found. But I find adults (or grown-ups, whatever suits you) question themselves too much. Endlessly. We get stuck. Muddled in comparisons. There has always been that idea of keeping up with the Joneses. It was popularized in the 1950s but I imagine we human grown-ups have long been competing with each other. My horse-drawn cart is SO much better than yours. And all that.
Why do we want to rush through it all? For the freedom (we think awaits us in adulthood) I suppose. But does it come? Ever?
Being an adult has nothing to do with maturity. Nothing to do with wisdom. Truthfully I find grown-ups to be horridly childish people. They are nowhere near as smart as they claim to be. Nor are they as confident and adjusted. And they don’t know even a smidgen of what they think they do. In fact. Most adults have forgotten all the important things by the time they arrive in Grownuplandia. Half of them don’t even remember the trip. Or where they were going.
And that is the struggle. The chaos of life is not meant to cause the confusion it does in the way we think. It is there because we need something to sift through. Without all the debris to sort through there would be nothing to find. If you never get your hands dirty you’ll never find the gold.
We are all magicians.
We can all sneak a card up our sleeve. Pull a quarter from behind another’s ear. We can all fake it. Most of us do.
So where is the real
It IS the endurance of the struggle.
Some people think I am too practical. Screw them. You die. No literally. Try it. And try coming back. I did. So allow me my practicality. Life is not meant to be so fancy free. Life is fucked up. In all the wonderful and maddening ways you can imagine. And, I don’t think that’s all that bad.
Life gets hard. And then it gets harder. And maybe harder still.
But nothing is ever the same always. And that’s a good thing. No. That’s a great thing. Because it means there will be change. We are so petrified of perspective. Our own. Others. Of changing it. We act as though altering our perspective or gaining a new one is punishment. Why? A change like that should be welcomed with open arms. It should be regarded as an opportunity. A positive one. Potential.
Life is fucked up. Questions go unanswered without reason or explanation. People and things die. It sucks. We get diagnosed with horrible diseases that people think we make up in our minds and live out in daily life (because 5-7 injections a day, countless finger pricks, highs and lows are a fun thing to suffer through for no reason). We judge and discriminate. We do awful things to each other. We lie. We are lied to. We believe. Alienated from those we love. And they can grow to hate us. We may never know why. Fucked up.
And it may be that way forever. FOR-EV-ER (I implore you to read this as if Squints from Sandlot is saying it – if you haven’t seen The Sandlot go now and watch it!).
Some people call it tough love. I prefer unfiltered honesty.
Life is fucked up. Get used to it.
What is LIFE?
We have skewed perceptions of our childhoods.
There are happy snapshots in time: road trips, holidays, toys. We remember friends. Adventures. Happy memories. But there are also heartaches and heartbreaks. Enemies. Failures. Nightmares. Childhood is riddled with fear. The unexplained. The yet to be experienced. We forget how challenging our early years are, how big and scary the world is, how hard it is to learn and grow: crawl, walk, run.
The challenges we faced as wee ones, teenagers, young-adults are carried with us. Not as a means of cheap torture. Or even a reminder. But as a way to continue moving forward. To encourage. As a point of reference. These challenges, previous experiences, allow us the chance to build on something. Their existence is what propels us, ushering us into adulthood. Welcome to Grownuplandia.
Goals and achievement do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. We seem to have great difficulty acknowledging our accomplishments in relation to goals. Many set goals and consider them unachieved if the goal is not fully realized. Negating all the work we did along the way. Shame. When we were younger each and every step was celebrated. Even the missteps. Because we were young? Perhaps. But why not now? Have we really forgotten to enjoy the views, the experiences, the achievements and the failures along the way? We absolutely have.
As adults we move away from the innocence of childhood imagination. We become aware of ourselves, of others. Of the fact that they are paying attention to us. Aware that we cast an image beyond our person. With awareness comes doubt. And the arrival of all of that leads to the exit of our imagination. Our ability to dream.
We need to bring it back around. Full circle. And that means we need to dream. Tap into your childhood. Poke your imagination. Pull it out of the unemployment line. Give it purpose. Kahlil Gibran is a personal favourite of mine and sums it up nicely: the significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.
Life is fucked up. But real life is the art of dreaming big. And that is where the magic happens.
That is why we should never give up.